The Relationship Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hearing Difficulties - LECOM

The Relationship Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Hearing Difficulties

Friday, 28 February 2020

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have hearing difficulties, which might be utilized to screen for this disorder and LECOM is at the forefront of this research:

 

People with ASD have difficulty with hearing: The vast majority of subjects with ASD have some degree of auditory dysfunction ranging from deafness to hypersensitivity.  Related: CDC: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

People with ASD have detectable changes in their stapedial reflex: At LECOM, we have shown that individuals with ASD have hypersensitive stapedial reflexes, but slower responses that are different between their right and left ears.  Related:

Quantification of the stapedial reflex reveals delayed responses in autism.

People with ASD and animal models of ASD have fewer neurons in their auditory brainstem: At LECOM, we have shown that human subjects with ASD have fewer neurons in their auditory brainstem and surviving neurons are disorganized. We have replicated these same findings in an animal model of ASD and we are using this model to gain a deeper understanding of how the brain is altered in this condition. Related:

Auditory Midbrain Hypoplasia and Dysmorphology after Prenatal Valproic Acid Exposure.

Repeated Prenatal Exposure to Valproic Acid Results in Auditory Brainstem Hypoplasia and Reduced Calcium Binding Protein Immunolabeling.

Prenatal valproic acid exposure disrupts tonotopic c-Fos expression in the rat brainstem.

Malformation of the superior olivary complex in an animal model of autism.

Malformation of the human superior olive in autistic spectrum disorders.

Morphological features of the medial superior olive in autism.

Organization of the human superior olivary complex in 15q duplication syndromes and autism spectrum disorders.

People with ASD have a smaller auditory brainstem: At LECOM, we have made 3D models of the auditory brainstem from a group of neurotypical children and children with ASD. Our results show specific alterations in the auditory system.

Hearing screening might be used as a screening tool for ASD: Together our results suggest that alterations of the auditory brainstem in ASD is attributable to a developmental etiology and that simple, non-invasive hearing tests might be used as a screening tool for early diagnosis of ASD. Related:

Hearing problems hint at potential for early autism screening

Structural and Functional Aberrations of the Auditory Brainstem in Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Research conducted by Randy Kulesza, Ph.D.

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